Find Mediators Near You:

10 Great Papers from ABA’s Seattle Conference

Congratulations to ABA’s Dispute Resolution Section for getting its Seattle Spring Conference papers held in April online so soon (including PowerPoint presentations, handouts and papers from most sessions).

Here are my picks (for a full set of papers and links go here)

1. Breaking the Rules: The Truth About Consequences
This session will present examples of mediators choosing (or being driven to) break commonly understood rules of good mediation practice and examine the consequences. Whether disastrous, unexpectedly positive, or more ambiguous, how do these consequences square with the theory of mediation practice? Examples used will be based upon an informal survey of practicing mediators.
Power Point Presentation

2. ADR in Health Law: A Primer on the Parties; Issues; Relationships; and ADR Perspectives
The use of alternative dispute resolution in the business of healthcare is growing exponentially. This panel of seasoned healthcare attorneys, clients and neutrals will explore the myriad relationships among healthcare sectors. Presenters will examine the repetitive potential conflicts that arise in those relationships and explore potential dispute resolution applications in healthcare delivery systems.
Managed Care Litigation Developments, Legal and Practical Considerations for Health Plans and Providers
Identification of Healthcare Players, Contracts and ADR Issues
Scenarios for Multiparty Healthcare ADR

3. Using Judges As Neutrals
This session will provide an overview of the Judicial Settlement Conference Program in Virginia which successfully uses retired Circuit Court Judges to provide mediation styled settlement services in court-referred cases. The session will also discuss ethics issues related to judges serving in the role of mediator.
Risk of Coercion Too Great
Justice System Journal – Virginia’s Judicial Settlement Conference Program

4. Upsizing: How to Build and Operate an Increasingly Profitable and Sustainable ADR Practice
You’ve started your ADR practice and you’ve got a few cases, but how do you make ADR a profitable, full-time career? Join a full-time mediator and a law firm management consultant to learn how to transition from entrepreneurial startup to a mature ADR business and start making real money.
Upsizing Program

5. When You’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Creating A New Model for Cross Cultural Mediation
In this advanced skills session, theory and practice are melded to demonstrate how mediators transform process and develop elicitive and improvisational methods to successfully handle cultural context, communication crosstalk, preconception of the other, face-saving maneuvers, and other challenges presented when mediating within a multicultural and diverse environment.
Creating a New Model for Cross-cultural Mediation

6. Can’t They Just Say They’re Sorry? The Intricacies of Giving and Receiving Apologies in Mediation
Numerous studies have shown the value of the apologies in negotiation — both from a healing perspective as well as their impact on monetary settlements. However, an ineffective or insincere apology can backfire and harm the relationship and the negotiation. In addition, culture and gender can impact the timing and manner in which an apology is effectively given and received. This highly interactive session will focus on different types of apology, their purpose, delivery and impact, and whether the mediator should play a role in encouraging an apology.
Outline Apology Workshop

7. Hobbling Through the Three-Legged World of Insurance Mediation: How to Get More Third-Party Liability Cases Settled
Cases involving third-party liability insurance provide tricky challenges for mediators. People behave in the most unpredictable ways! Plaintiffs plead curious claims to trigger coverage, then pull their punches to avoid blowing that coverage. Policyholders deny wrongdoing, then beg carriers to dig them out of deep trouble. Carriers deny responsibility, then sometimes shell out big bucks. How is a mediator to make sense of all this and juggle all the balls in the air? In this session, experienced practitioners tell what makes disputants tick and give valuable tips on how to help them solve their problems.
Courageous Carriers Meaningful Mediations
Insurance Bad Faith and Mediation Confidentiality
Insurance Coverage Litigation

8. Lawyers as Problem Solvers: The Aurora Bridge Bus Tragedy: Caring for People, Taking Care of the County Funds
In November 1998 a deranged passenger boarded a King County Metro Transit bus, shot the driver then himself. The moving bus crossed the centerline and crashed through the Aurora Bridge railing, plunging nearly 50 feet to the ground below. The bus carried thirty-three passengers, ages 13 to 76, from all walks of life. Injuries included fatalities, limb amputations, severe bone fractures, closed head injuries, and serious internal injuries. King County provided immediate medical help and ongoing assistance for survivors. With our clients’ permission, the presenters will share this compelling case study involving successful strategies used to mediate humane and responsible settlements.
The Aurora Bridge Bus Tragedy

9. Negotiating By The Numbers
This session is an introduction to Making Money Talk: How to Mediate Insured Claims and Other Monetary Disputes published by the ABA last year. The book describes the recurring problems of position-based bargaining in the negotiation and mediation of insured claims and provides a model for resolving those claims in a way that is facilitative, client-centered, process-oriented and communication focused. As an introduction, the session focuses on identifying the characteristics of money disputes that lead to premature impasse and on outlining a model of the mediation process that is effective in facilitating positional bargaining.
The Language of Numbers
The Rear Ender Facts
Mediating the Settlement of Insured Claims and Other Monetary Disputes – Chapter

10. Beyond Orthodoxy: The Adaptive Mediator in a Perpetually Changing Marketplace of Clients, Needs, Wants, Hopes and Fears
The conventional wisdom of the last 25 years has turned mediation into a set of narrow, technical activities. More worrisome, there are a growing number of “schools” of mediation, some them cult-like, and each with their own set of orthodoxies. This session will explore the deeper, underlying master patterns of assisted negotiation and how to draw the best from all of them into your practice.
Guerilla Mediation
Protean Negotiation
Wonks Shamans Warriors Dealmakers

10. Good Lawyers Should Be Good Psychologists: Insights for Interviewing and Counseling Clients
The most effective attorneys are not only great legal analysts but also great with people. Whether an attorney is dealing with her own clients, opposing clients, opposing counsel, judges, jurors, witnesses, or ADR neutrals, effective lawyering requires an excellent understanding of how people perceive, think, learn, remember, and communicate. Yet, law school focuses almost exclusively on legal analysis, and lawyers typically improve their people skills (if at all) only through sometimes painful on-the-job training. Drawing extensively from psychological research this session will offer key insights for how law students and lawyers can improve their interviewing and counseling skills.
Good Lawyers Should be Good Psychologists

10. Dispute Resolution Tools to Address Conflict Between “High Stakes” Employees
Over the past several years, personnel issues have increased in number and complexity. Many of the most challenging and politically delicate personnel problems have involved disputes between administrator/managers and their supervisors (such as the VP or CEO), the CEO and board chair, or director vs. director. These disputes typically have a significant, detrimental impact on an organization’s day-to-day operations and achievement of organizational goals, especially when those responsible to identify and remedy the issue/conflict are either unwilling or unable to do so because: (1) they do not have the political will or organizational support;(2) they do not have the skill or desire to intervene; or (3) they are fearful of the information (often confidential) that has been available to those they supervise, and how that information may be used. This session will focus not only on supervisory best practices to prevent disputes (and litigation), but also on the dispute resolution tools available to effectively address and resolve such disputes.
Tools to Address Conflict Between High Stakes Employees


Geoff Sharp

Geoff Sharp is a Commercial Mediator from Wellington, New Zealand. Geoff works in the Asia Pacific region, including New Zealand, Malaysia, Thailand and Pacific Islands. He is a mediator resolving business problems. He is a fellow of the International Academy of Mediators and mediates complex and hotly debated litigation covering… MORE >

Featured Members

View all

Read these next


Dispelling Arbitration Myths

Business Conflict Blog by Peter Phillips A panel at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago once again engaged in “Myth Busting,” using facts and logic to dispel many of the...

By F. Peter Phillips

Fundamentally Unfair: An Empirical Analysis of Social Media Arbitration Clauses

Disputing Blog by Karl Bayer, Victoria VanBuren, and Holly HayesMichael L. Rustad, Thomas F. Lambert Jr. Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School, and Thomas H. Koenig, Professor of Sociology and Anthropology...

By Beth Graham

Moving Workplace Conflict from Dysfunctional to Functional

Meredith Mediates by Meredith RichardsonWhen I get a call about workplace conflict, I often find that: The situation has been brewing for a long time. There have been repeated violations of...

By Meredith Richardson